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Nine questions about the future of Seattle’s parks for the District 3 candidates

A Cal Anderson movie night from above

Development, equity, and public safety — These are major issues in the 2023 race for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council. Turns out, you can learn a lot about the D3 candidates by asking about something else altogether — Seattle’s parks. Thanks to the Seattle Parks Foundation, we have answers to nine questions about the city’s public greenspaces from D3 candidates Joy Hollingsworth and Alex Hudson that help illustrate each candidate’s style and stances on key questions about the city’s parks system that also shine light on how each candidate would help lead the city.

For Hollingsworth, her thoughts on Seattle parks start with growing up in the Central District and her father’s long career as a Seattle Parks employee. The candidate says the biggest issue facing the city’s parks right now is public safety while she also addresses how she believes parks fit into her primary stance on social investments — “centering essential city services and expanding root cause investments for safe and thriving communities.” Other answers highlight her commitment to increasing efforts to address climate change and grow the city’s tree canopy in underserved communities as she hopes to champion growth strategies that balance preservation of existing communities. “The gentrification of my own neighborhood and displacement of Black families is a painful lesson for the City and community leaders that thoughtful planning is critical to successful urbanism,” Hollingsworth says.

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Hudson’s parks perspectives offer a more forward-looking approach shaped by her time serving on the board of the Freeway Park Association. In her answers, Hudson places parks within her strategies for building a more dense, more affordable Seattle that also places a high value on greenspace and the tree canopy by dedicating more existing streetspace to become parks and mixing more multistory affordable housing into areas near parks. “We must reclaim more of our streetscape and return it to the people as greenspace. We must create more parks and protect the ones we have,” Hudson says. “High density development is necessary because the alternative is sprawl and further destruction of what little greenspace we currently have.”

Hudson also calls for more resources to be dedicated to activating and programming in the city’s most important existing parks including Cal Anderson. “Our parks are some of the places where our toughest social issues play out – homelessness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and by supporting programs like the Rangers, investing in REACH and other outreach workers, and supporting healthy activation we can ensure they are safe and welcoming for everyone,” Hudson says.

The full survey and D3 answers from the Seattle Parks Foundation are below.

1) What is your favorite Seattle park and why?

Hollingsworth: I grew up in the historic Central District neighborhood, where I still live today and rent the home that my grandmother purchased in the 1940’s with my wife, Iesha. While the neighborhood has changed immensely over the past four decades, one thing that hasn’t changed is the community building and fellowship that takes place in our parks and public spaces. My favorite Seattle Park is Garfield Playfield and Community Center. I spent every summer as a child growing up in programming at Garfield. To this day, I still stay connected with Ms. Shari Watts, the former Director of Garfield Community Center. It was Garfield where I have rich memories of my childhood, where I felt at home and in community. Garfield Playfield and Community Center was also one of the Seattle Parks that my dad, who was a career-long Seattle Parks employee, fought to ensure had the same investments and resources as parks in wealthier parts of Seattle. On City Council, I want every youth to have the opportunity that I did to access programming, enjoy safe parks and public spaces, and experience community.

Hudson: Wow, I’m not even sure I know how to pick! I’ve served on the board of the Freeway Park Association for a decade, and I love that park’s iconic architecture and innovation, especially how its lidding of a section of I-5 created this beautiful space. I helped to lead a community re-design of First Hill Park and feel an incredible appreciation for our little jewel box park that serves so many people. And I feel so lucky to live in District 3, with our abundance of Olmstead legacy park riches at Cal Anderson, Volunteer, and Interlaken parks.

2) Have you identified any park related issues in the district where you are running? If you were elected, how would you address those issues?

Hollingsworth: Public safety is a number one priority for my campaign. As community spaces, parks should be a safe space where all people feel welcome. Unfortunately, from what I have heard from community members and experienced myself, is that parks house some of our city’s most pressing public health crises: homelessness, substance use, and community violence. On the Council, as I have done through my career, I will champion root cause investments that address our city’s most urgent issues and diversion programs to provide immediate relief and help navigate resources to those most impacted. All Parks should be maintained with care and that requires the full staffing of the Parks Department. If elected, I will work with all city departments to make sure we deliver on our commitment to public service. I will continue the legacy of my father to ensure equity in our city.

Hudson: We need more investments in maintenance and activation. Cal Anderson Park, for example, is one of Seattle’s most popular, but it’s not included in the Urban Parks Partnership, and staffing shortages at the SPR mean it doesn’t always get the activation and maintenance at the scale of its importance to the community. I will work to ensure park maintenance and activation budgets are up to the task. Many of our parks will need infrastructure upgrades to help them adapt to climate change, like irrigation systems to address drought and replanting of trees that can withstand heat. We also need more park space – our district is growing and to meet the basic need for greenspace we’re going to have to get creative about how to do that. Our parks are some of the places where our toughest social issues play out – homelessness, mental and behavioral health challenges, and by supporting programs like the Rangers, investing in REACH and other outreach workers, and supporting healthy activation we can ensure they are safe and welcoming for everyone.

3) With ongoing climate disruption in the region (wildfires, flooding, drought), how will you address reducing Seattle’s government, citizen, and business climate impacts? Do you have any bold ideas around how the city can address climate resilience and reduce our impact on the environment?

Hollingsworth: To combat the dangerous and damaging impacts of climate change, a coordinated response from all sectors and residents in Seattle is necessary. The City Council serves as the Board of the Seattle Parks District, and can and must center improvements to Seattle’s green spaces, urban forests, parks, and overall tree canopy to meet not only the recreational needs of our city, but also climate resilience goals – including carbon storage, water and air filtration, and other critical roles trees and open space play for the health and quality of life in our communities. I’ll work with my colleagues and at the state and federal levels to realize the potential of our parks and open spaces, including immediate action to re-forest areas of our parks that have suffered the majority of tree canopy loss in the city, as well as investments in neighborhoods that are becoming “heat sinks” of pavement, poor cooling, lack of trees, and proximity to fossil fuel infrastructure. A commitment to the Green New Deal will create housing, healthcare, education, and job opportunities for everyone in our community. I am deeply in support of this initiative. The Green New Deal centers Black and Brown voices in environmentalism and is the type of change we need to protect these communities. We must approach this crisis with a dual focus on overall improvements and best practices, as well as targeted investments in underserved and historically marginalized areas of our city. We’ve seen an increase in heat and smoke in our region and frontline communities have had to bear the burden. With the development of Resilience Hubs, we are able to assist those folks in preparing and staying safe for climate emergencies. Changing existing infrastructure in all 650 of our city buildings will guarantee our residents can enjoy their communities without dealing with the health complications associated with pollution. Relying on outdated technologies and environmentally dangerous fossil fuels is not serving our communities now and certainly has no place in our future. The focus at every level of government must be a transition to clean, renewable resources, including solar and wind. Investing in multi-family affordable housing projects with electrification instead of fossil fuels will ensure thriving families and thriving futures for them. We must advance our climate justice efforts by evaluating our emissions and moving towards electrification and decarbonization to improve the health of the community. The Green New Deal means healthy neighborhoods.

Hudson: I have spent more than a decade working for solutions that build walkable communities where you don’t need a gallon of gas to get a gallon of milk and to decarbonize our transportation sector by creating real alternatives like reliable transit, safe cycling, and accessible walking. Cities are climate leaders, and I’m excited about the opportunity to keep pushing for safe, green, and healthy communities and have Seattle continue to be a climate leader. Prevention. At the municipal level, we can aggressively pursue carbon emissions through the promotion of public transit, support for transportation electrification, building code updates, and increasing housing density to support walkable, carbon-lite neighborhoods. Good urbanism is a major component of the climate movement’s progressive future. Adaptation. Cities have to recognize that climate change is already here. We need to keep investing in clean air centers for wildfire smoke events, rapidly planting urban trees to increase our canopy, creating resiliency networks for neighbors to support each other, and stockpiling masks for public health. Building Walkable Neighborhoods connected by great transit. Dense walkable neighborhoods are climate solutions. Seattle must make zoning changes to allow for more housing and support decarbonized transportation with good transit planning and multimodal options. I’ve published housing and transportation policy papers, each with dozens of ideas on how we can advance on these at City Council. Championing Seattle Climate Action Plan. City government has committed to building three low-pollution neighborhoods by 2028. I’ll push beyond that and pursue low-emissions zones, eco-districts, resilience districts, more parks and open space, and pedestrian market streets across the city, funded in the upcoming Move Seattle Levy. Building a Green Economy. I will champion increased and sustained investment in workforce development to train, educate, and mentor people to be prepared for the green jobs of our future – building housing and infrastructure, operating transit, installing clean energy solutions, tending to our urban forests. We must focus the future on good jobs for a healthy planet. Centering Environmental Justice. We all have the right to clean air, water, and land free from toxins. Pollutants are not evenly distributed, and low-income, black, brown, and indigenous communities bear the brunt of environmental destruction and degradation. Environmental racism shortens lives, increases illness, destroys communities, and is present and obvious here in Seattle as much as it is around the world. We have to look to the intersection of social justice and climate action to build a better future that doesn’t replicate the harms and misses of the past.

4) In a city that is rapidly developing, growing and maintaining the urban tree canopy is one strategy to mitigate climate and reduce the heat island effect. A recent study by the city found that in the last 5 years we have lost 255 acres of trees. Our city leaders are actively working on ways to address tree canopy, most recently by passing the tree protection ordinance. What is your perspective on this ordinance and what might you want to see done to improve our tree regulations in the city?

Hollingsworth: The Tree Protection Ordinance is an important first step in protecting critical tree canopy within our city and investing in equitable tree canopy for our future. As displayed in the 2021 Tree Canopy Assessment presented by the Office of Sustainability and Environment, neighborhood residential zones are one of the leading accounts for total tree canopy loss. We must prioritize climate action. While curbing tree canopy loss, the Tree Protection Ordinance also invests in historically underserved communities which will be the first to feel the climate consequences. In addition to the programs and partnerships the city is pursuing to achieve tree canopy goals, we must commit to the Tree Canopy Equity and Resilience Plan being developed by the Office of Sustainability and Environment. To meet our city’s housing crisis and global climate crisis, I will work with our city’s departments, developers, elected leaders, residents and communities to prioritize a sustainable and equitable future for Seattle.

Hudson: Policies such as the tree protection ordinance are a good start but do not do enough to expand our tree canopy to the city’s 30% coverage goal by 2037. City data has shown that tree canopy loss is disproportionately happening because of suburban sprawl eating into the greenfield space at the edges of our city. I will prioritize urban infill through upzoning so developers will focus new construction inside the city rather than destroying greenspace for more low density housing. I will also aggressively pursue funding tree canopy expansion using progressive revenue sources to not only meet the city’s 30% tree canopy goal but to push far beyond it to address economic and racial inequities exacerbated by heat islands in this city.

5) Seattle has a long history of inequitable access to parks and public spaces. While there have been large investments in addressing these inequities, there is still significant work to be done to support marginalized communities who have less of a voice with our city government. What ideas do you have to ensure we have more equitable public parks and spaces?

Hollingsworth: As a lifelong neighbor of this District, I have seen and experienced first-hand the inequitable access to parks and public spaces and their consequences. My father, who served thirty years with the Seattle Parks & Recreation Department, dedicated his career to ensuring that parks in both North and South Seattle were clean and welcoming to all. Improving the access and protecting the health of historically burdened communities needs to be centered in decision-making and prioritized in policy. I am dedicated to protecting the rights of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities and other historically excluded communities that have long found a home in our neighborhoods and City. On the Council, I want to help amplify voices like mine that have been historically excluded from City Hall decisions to implement community driven policies and solutions. – Improve public engagement in parks that have been historically under-funded or maintained, including community events and public meetings. – Expand the P-Patch Community Gardening Program in neighborhoods that are situated in a food desert. – Enhance access to learning and childcare opportunities, including extended teen programming and affordable childcare.

Hudson: Parks, habitat, and other open spaces are what makes living in the city a healthy and happy choice. Humans just don’t do well without access to greenspace, and nature fails to thrive when habitat is threatened. Seattle has 485 parks and open spaces, totaling approximately 6,414 acres or nearly 8% of the land. We love our parks and open spaces in Seattle, and yet we fail too often to fund and protect what we have and create more for our growing population, and fail to meet inequities in our investments and decisions. My goals are to protect what we have and to continuously work to increase and improve our habitat, open space, and parks inventory with environmental and social justice at the forefront of that. I have experience doing so. First Hill has the biggest public greenspace gap anywhere in the city, and nearly 15% of residents live at or below the federal poverty line. As director of First Hill’s neighborhood group, I led the project that rehabilitated our tiny First Hill Park. Though small, the park’s impact is mighty, and I learned how important it is to the community; the park is well used as a place to read a book, catch up with neighbors, and provide a needed third place. We need more of these easy-to-get-to parks spaces, in District 3 and across the city. I also helped to lead the creation of the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan, which created a strategy to use our streets and right of way to creatively increase open space in a highly constrained urban context and delivered projects that did so. We can push housing development to include great spaces for people, as I did at 800 Columbia and 702 Spring Street. These are some of the ways we can meet the growing need and invest where the gaps are biggest. I am very supportive of the Trailhead Direct program that connects people to the wilderness and believe we should increase the size and scope of the program.

6) This district is blessed with considerable canopy and greenspace, however, there is intense pressure for density and increasing gentrification in historic communities of color. In this district, parks become the center of the cultural controversies of Seattle (Cal Anderson, Garfield Park, etc). How will you lead to ensure we protect the historic cultural legacy of the Central District and Capitol Hill through our parks and public spaces?

Hollingsworth: As a third-generation District 3 neighbor, I very much appreciate this question. We must practice thoughtful city planning to meet the needs of our growing city, inviting density while also curbing the impacts of gentrification and displacement that my family and I are intimately familiar with. Many neighborhoods in D3 were historically redlined – receiving the least infrastructure investment, parks, open space protections, and transit access – a structural disadvantage which now manifests in environmental justice issues, including lack of access to safe housing, poor health outcomes, exposure to pollution, and vulnerability to extreme weather events. I am committed to protecting communities that are affected by generations of systemic and discriminatory policies and practices and generating pathways to homeownership like that presented in the new Covenant Homeownership program introduced by Rep. Jamila Taylor. There are many policies that can help address these disparities, including: – Improving Seattle building standards to retrofit existing public supported housing and mandate cleaner new construction; – Making our transportation system less dependent on fossil fuels, and helping communities adjacent to freeways and arterials with better air purification, less stormwater runoff, and better access to safe routes to transit, school, and jobs; and – Directing parks funding to improve tree canopy, and enhancing and restoring green spaces for cooling and clean air. The gentrification of my own neighborhood and displacement of Black families is a painful lesson for the City and community leaders that thoughtful planning is critical to successful urbanism.

Hudson: I believe in supporting community-led groups who want to steward and champion their neighborhood parks, like we do at Freeway Park Association, with resources, supporting community efforts and solving problems, and by starting with an attitude of yes! I am supportive of the Garfield SuperBlock, a nearly decade-long community-led effort to honor the multicultural history of the Central District and make that park thrive. I have worked with the Cal Anderson Park Alliance, the Volunteer Park Trust, and the Arboretum Foundation, and want to support these community members in helping their parks thrive.

7) Recently, there has been an uptick in criminal activity (including gun violence) in our parks. What is your position on addressing public safety in parks and public spaces? What ideas do you have to support keeping our parks safe, lively, and open to all?

Hollingsworth: I will use my experience as a lifelong Seattle resident, and my connections to community, businesses, and government to develop community-centered solutions that reduce crime, prevent gun violence, connect vulnerable people to care and keep our youth safe. I believe that all 45 of our city departments have a role to play in meeting the public safety needs of our city. As a Councilmember, I will serve as a conduit between constituents and our city’s departments and services to ensure that our communities have reliable access to basic infrastructure for all to be safe in our city. To meet this challenge, we must take the following actions: – Support the Mayor’s Comprehensive Police Recruitment and Retention Plan to hire more officers, first responders and reduce response times. We must invest in the appropriate staffing and responses to emergency situations, ensuring that our first responders are equipped with relevant resources and training to respond to our community’s most pressing public safety concerns. – Prioritize alternative responses, including crisis response teams and non-armed responders, for neighbors in crisis. This means implementing policies that reduce police presence in non-violent situations and invests in our behavioral health and social service workforce. – Expand root cause investments in youth engagement, violence disruption, and other alternatives through City departments. Models already exist within programs like DON’s Generational Wealth Initiative and partnerships with community-based organizations like Community Passages in District 3. I will strengthen investments in City Departments that have a proven track record of effective gun violence prevention and youth intervention and work to identify new partnerships with communities most impacted by gun violence. – Fund community-based violence intervention and diversion programs, such as Seattle’s Youth Leadership, Intervention & Change (LINC) Program and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program, to provide immediate service for our city’s most vulnerable communities. – Enforce state law to address the illegal use of fentanyl in public spaces, meanwhile increase substance use services and emergency housing options. Parks and public spaces are central to thriving communities and I strongly believe violence prevention work includes investing in local priorities to keep youth engaged: maintaining parks and green spaces, funding vocational schools and apprenticeships, and enhancing community centers and libraries to offer safe spaces for our youth with robust programming. It should always be a priority of our City Council to ensure that our neighborhoods and communities are safe and healthy. On Council, I will be a champion for bold and community-driven solutions to reduce gun violence, address root causes and disrupt cycles of violence.

Hudson: Our parks can and should be a safe space for everyone in the city of Seattle to enjoy, and I am committed to that goal. The current practice of solely relying on armed officers to keep our public spaces safe is falling short and we need a holistic approach that creates both tailored responses and addresses the underlying issues that create criminal activity in the first place. I support evidence-based police alternatives such as Park Rangers, social workers or officers trained in de-escalation to respond to calls of criminal activity where an armed officer is not truly necessary. I also recognize that most violent crime, especially gun violence, is a product of poverty and alienation. The city can take significant steps towards alleviating this issue especially in our youth. Expanding community center operating hours, funding youth programs, staffing our parks for later operations, and expanding city employment opportunities are just a few of the many ways the city can provide a civic alternative for young people. We must also keep leaning in our Park design and maintenance as a deterrent to crime, CPTED improvements, activations, and ensuring basics like all our lights work make parks a place where everyone is comfortable and where anti-social behaviors are discouraged.

8) A historic investment was made by our city council in 2022 with the expansion of the Metropolitan Parks District funding. How will you ensure this funding is protected, well invested, and addresses the needs of your district? In the next 5 years, the MPD is up for renewal. Because increasing the levy requires voter approval, will you support continued growth in the tax base to support parks? How will you address projects not currently included in the 6-year plan?

Hollingsworth: Parks and public spaces are critical pillars of our communities. I am a product of these investments and am committed to the protection and continuation of these resources and services. The historic Metropolitan Parks District funding is key to achieving my priorities: centering essential city services and expanding root cause investments for safe and thriving communities. Our city is home to some of the largest businesses in the country, as well as a thriving airport, seaport, and tourism industry, yet we still face budget shortfalls. To address this, I will consider new revenue streams and business taxes, expanding existing taxes, as well as opportunities to work with the state to advance progressive revenue. I believe that it is essential for Seattle to have a fair and equitable tax system that ensures that the wealthiest residents and businesses pay their fair share. I am committed to finding progressive revenue streams to meet our city’s needs. The City Council serves as the Board of the Seattle Parks District and holds important decision making power for our city’s urbanist future. On City Council, I will be accessible, transparent, and thoughtful in city planning to advance projects that put forth the best interests of the city, its residents and our future. When developing MPD funding and multi-year planning, we must consider all options, coordinate with our partners, evaluate progress, and identify solutions which will push forward our shared goals.

Hudson: You will never have to worry about where I stand on the issue of well-resourced parks – I’ve been a champion and advocate for parks and public open spaces for over a decade and will continue to do so in City Hall. I will work with our Parks Department, our community-led organizations, and across City departments and with the Mayor’s office to ensure our parks, community centers, and other public assets are flourishing and that our investments are producing results at scale. [SPF combined two items into one here – so here’s the other reply:] Again, you can count on me to be an outspoken leader in creating funding. partnerships, and programs that lead to flourishing parks throughout the City. I will not just be a supporter of this, I will be your champion. I hope the MPD can be expanded to meet the real need and vision for our Emerald City, and will work to creatively address any gaps that might exist through partnerships, investments from other areas and departments, and looking to private, State, and Federal resources.

9) According to city data, we reached a tipping point in 2020 and no longer have the amount of park acres needed to address public needs and support public health and well-being for our growing population. As we look ahead to our growing population needs, how will you balance the need for development with the need for greenspace?

Hollingsworth: As our city continues to grow, we must be more thoughtful about planning for our future. We have to consider both where people will live and how they will live. Seattle has been hyper-focused on building a city, but I want to build a home. This means expanding our housing supply and housing options (i.e. family-size housing, homeownership opportunities), building out our city’s resources and capacities, and growing our community centers and green spaces to meet both population growth and climate goals. I will be thoughtful, transparent, collaborative and solution-focused in maintaining the delicate balance of development and greenspace in Seattle. I will champion the expansion of community spaces and programming with a deep understanding of the powerful and positive impact that this has on people’s lives. As a third-generation Seattleite, I am sensitive to the necessary care in planning that is required to invite density while preventing displacement and gentrification, to building with quality and quantity, and to making Seattle a home where all are welcome. Growing up in a neighborhood with nearby access to public spaces, parks and community was formative to who I am today. Today, these spaces remain a core pillar of community – where young families take their children, youth meet their friends, neighbors walk their dogs, and elders practice healthy lifestyles. My father was a career Seattle Parks employee and took pride in his service.

Hudson: What we must do is to rapidly double and triple down on zoning for density across the city. Not just in transit corridors! Recent state legislative action to do some of that must underpin our Comprehensive Plan. We must reduce the use of concrete, expedite permitting, and increase modular construction for both residential and commercial buildings, creating sustainable union jobs in the process. We must reclaim more of our streetscape and return it to the people as greenspace. We must create more parks and protect the ones we have. High density development is necessary because the alternative is sprawl and further destruction of what little greenspace we currently have. By prioritizing urban infill we ensure greenspace is not razed for new housing and we can instead embrace the economic growth from new neighbors which will afford the city the ability to protect and most importantly expand our greenspace. We all know all of this, but we all don’t make it priority #1. I do, and I always will.

The Seattle Parks Foundation survey of all 2023 Seattle City Council candidates can be found here.

 

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Fred
Fred
7 months ago

The tree protection ordinance is just a way for nimbys to block density. We need to double down on planting more trees. Every street should be lined with large trees on both sides. If one isn’t, plant trees. If a tree dies, replant. If there are power lines blocking a tree from growing, bury the lines underground. But stop with the nonsense that removing a tree to build a bigger building is somehow removing tree canopy in a negative way.

Crow
Crow
7 months ago
Reply to  Fred

It is extremely expensive to bury power lines. Homeowners on my block explored that, and the cost was $10k per house. And that was 20 years ago, the price has probably doubled. In theory a good idea though.

CD resident
CD resident
7 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Had 3 trees die and fall on cars in the last year on our block. Each time it was a massive pain to get the city to do anything to help with cleanup – they always say it’s the property owners responsibility and only budge when it’s laying in the street blocking traffic. Adjacent residents and property owners generally have no idea or don’t give a crap and assume the city will take care of it.

Tried to find out if the city will do anything to help with replacing the trees. Nope. They said it’s up to the adjacent property owners. So we’re supposed to rally mostly apartment and row-house dwellers to put up money to remove giant stumps and agree on approved trees and collecting funds to make it happen? It isn’t happening.

A shocking number of Seattle trees are ‘private’, in other words not the city’s problem. Check out this map:
https://www.seattle.gov/transportation/projects-and-programs/programs/trees-and-landscaping-program/seattle-tree-inventory-map

Trees
Trees
7 months ago

Do you really want more trees?

Require all new development to move electric lines underground so that canopies can grow.

Stop allowing new building to push the boundaries of such that no trees can be grown on the curb.

All new buildings should allow space for multiple trees to grow within limits of the property boundaries; no more building which consume the entire parcel making it impossible for any tree to grow. It shouldn’t be just about “saving one significant tree” per lot, it should be about making space for multiple trees to grow.

Anything other than the above? You are just green washing.

While you are at it, developers should be paying to upgrade the existing combined sewer system. Any new building should be only allowed in areas that can handle sewage and stormwater correctly.

Seattle is decades behind in sewage manage when compared to other coastal cities on the east and west coast. The tank that is being installed Union and 11th is a last minute stop gap measure to handle water pollution; it serves as a demonstration has to how there is no long term planning.

Until Seattle builds a proper sewer system, the courts should be asked to suspend all new building in the city.

CD resident
CD resident
7 months ago
Reply to  Trees

Moving to underground utilities seems like a tall order. Notice how there are so many partial telephone poles attached to new poles last few years? The private companies for cable, fiber etc have a backlog for moving their equipment over from rotten old utility poles to the new ones. So the city has to leave partial old poles dangling maybe forever until Astound/CenturyLink and friends get around to maybe moving their stuff over. Never seen this in another city..

Doom loop
Doom loop
7 months ago

Will you allow tent encampments, meth and fentanyl smoking, and drug dealing in Seattle Parks?” Hollingsworth “No”. Hudson “Welcome houseless neighbors experiencing substance use disorder and people experiencing selling substances for use. How can we make this park more accessible to you?”

d4l3d
d4l3d
7 months ago

Small point. Hudson is the only one above to mention unions. If there ever was an engine to drive some of the best ideas forward, that would be one.

Greg
Greg
7 months ago

this race is about public safety and homelessness, and hollingsworth is the clear choice when it comes to these issues.

they’re similar on basically everything else but Hollingsworth brings the common sense Seattle has been missing for the last decade

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg

I’d also like to add that Capitol Hill is bearing the brunt of the entire city’s lack of density. When Hudson talks about “tripling down” on density all I can imagine is even worse traffic, more homeless and all the other little problems that come with density for the sake of density.

Capitol Hill is currently pretty dense. How about we spread it around a bit?

Increasing density in DIII should be way, way down anybody’s list of priorities. Public safety, cleanliness and the council member’s ability to see reality and act accordingly are the priorities.

Will
Will
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Given that we have some of the densest neighborhoods in the city, isn’t it good to get a councilmember who understands the benefits of density and pushes for that in the rest of the city?

yetanotherhiller
yetanotherhiller
7 months ago
Reply to  Will

Hudson is an ideologue.

Will
Will
7 months ago

is that a bad thing in a public official? I guess if they have ideas that you disagree with.

Matt
Matt
7 months ago

I understand that this is a bit in Hudson’s wheelhouse, but the responses to question #2 is light and day between candidates. Hollingsworth gives some sense of the problem and then the solution is just to fully staff parks. Hudson starts out with saying we need to fully staff parks and go beyond that and activate them. She also talks about bringing in all sorts of other services from the city and local nonprofits.

The benefit of the open primaries is that we have two quality candidates and we’re splitting hairs on differences, but Hollingsworth doesn’t seem to have much in the way of concrete ideas/policies to address any issues. She also has a tendency to use her personal connection to issues in place of concrete ideas, as if proximity has made her an expert on the topic.

Greg
Greg
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I see it as someone who has experience with an issue instead of just theorizing about it.

Matt
Matt
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg

I would agree if there was substantial discussion in response to these experiences, rather than just offhand references to them…

yetanotherhiller
yetanotherhiller
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt

In Seattle, activating parks usually means putting in more hardscape to the detriment of trees.

Matt
Matt
7 months ago

That’s a pretty big stretch…

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 months ago

Just LOL at “fully staffing the parks” and “activating them” as real answers. Staffing Cal Anderson with the “ambassadors” does nothing. You have people smoking fent 100 feet away from their kiosk in the bathrooms constantly. Tents keep popping up a long with all the trouble that comes with them.

Has Hudson every walked through Cal Anderson? Sometimes the “lights don’t work” because junkies are stripping them for wire or to power their phones.

She is absolutely clueless. Yes, fund the parks, install a bunch of fancy lights and cool stuff but in order to keep all that stuff shiny and used you can’t have criminals and vagrants living in the park!

Reality
Reality
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Exactly. Activation is the typical Seattle progressive answer for addressing public safety and antisocial behavior in public spaces because they don’t have the political courage to acknowledge the reality that addressing the problem will take both activation and enforcement. Without enforcement to clear out the drug addict and dealer riff raff that is destroying the park and contributing to crime including assault and murder, activation is destined to fail.

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They are both fake as flock. Or maybe just dumb. Royally disappointed. Two bad choices. Crap.

zach
zach
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

But either of them would be great replacements for the disaster that has been Sawant.

CD Res
CD Res
7 months ago
Reply to  zach

No. Sawant was great. Many of us liked her. Get over it.

Tomas Rojo
7 months ago

As a one who works to keep Seattle a cleaner place I would love to see more trees and parks for my family to visit on the weekends.

Central Districite
Central Districite
7 months ago

Wow, this makes it clear that Hudson has real policy ideas to make a difference in terms of parks, greenspaces, climate, and livability. Hudson also clearly understands cities and how to manage growth, while sometimes it feels like Hollingsworth is stuck in a suburban vision for Seattle.